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tongue and groove deck boards

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  • tongue and groove deck boards

    I am looking for info on tongue and groove deck boards for a screened in back deck. They want the floor to be bug tight as well. I am familiar with the tongue and groove boards like the Azek 3 inch boards that often get used on porches. But I have not used anything wider in a tongue and groove system.
    Anyone used some and have recommendations.

  • #2
    beezo I've done lots of 5/4x4" T&G Doug Fir. Typical for my area with the older homes

    bug free? I don't know about that

    Gary

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    • #3
      how about as bug free as I can get it. Mostly they did not want to consider having bugs coming up thru the floor board gaps.

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      • #4
        There shouldn't be anything crawling up through the floor boards, They are installed like a conventional hardwood floor, fairly snug to one another with no gaps. There needs to be good ventilation below the floor boards. Most are primed with an oil based primer and exterior floor paint. Holds up OK, but it requires periodic maintenance. A porch that is totally closed in with no chance of weather penetration will fair well.
        Gary

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        • #5
          Beezo, as Gary has stated, it is hard to imagine bugs coming up through the t&g assembly. You question if anyone has used wider boards, I would have to imagine that if you go wider the likely hood is that you will have some seasonal/humidity related issues develop with expansion and contraction. Whether it would be enough to allow insect entry, I don't know but in wood you would want to stay as close to vertical grain as possible to eliminate the movement issues as well as cupping.

          I did a slate roof over a screen porch last year on which the floor was constructed of the thermally treated ash lumber with a t&g edge. It looked very nice and seemed to lie very nicely with no cupping or shrinkage that I noticed over the several times I had visited the site to measure up for the slate and some millwork.

          Since I have never used a non wood flooring/decking product, I can't offer an opinion regarding that material.

          You could always staple screening on top of joists before installing the flooring if you think you might have issues.
          "ALS IK KAN" - Stickley

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          • #6
            I've had my lumber yard run T & G pressure treated #1 - 2 X 6 pine before.

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            • #7
              TWhite, is the tongue and groove pressure treated kiln dried? Have no idea where to get that around here. I hear lots of stories about PT warping and twisting but do not see it as much on the 5/4 and 2x material if it is installed with screws. Where I see the problems is more in the 2x2 spindles or baulsters, I sometimes also see it in stuff after about 10 years of it being installed.

              I had thought about using a screening over the joists and then installing regular deck boards with a gap between them. But the lady has a couple of dogs and it won't be long before the gaps will likely be full of dog hair. I am a little reluctant to use the tongue and groove because I know that from time to time water will get blown into the porch and may not have a really great way to get back out. Surely cannot be that much but it does give me some pause as to whether I should use T&G or screen and gapped boards.

              At this point looking at options.

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              • #8
                If you have access from underneath you can screen the bottom of the joist. We have done that several times and it last for many years.

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                • #9
                  Good question, I'm going through that very exercise right now...probably going with the T&G Azek since it'll keep the bugs out and the client won't have to worry about rot/maintenance/peeling. It's expensive but really the best choice IMO.

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                  • #10
                    Indy,
                    you might look at Goosen products also. They make a 3 inch tongue and groove board that I have put down several times. It seems to have held up as well and as I recall is a bit less than the Azek. Have not looked at Azek site recently but the last time I did Gossen had a few different colors than Azek had so if color choice is an issue you might find it with Gossen.

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                    • #11
                      m beezo, that's funny, my client want's me to spec out the Gossen T&G. Do you have a preferred fastener system for it or just the proprietary one?

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                      • #12
                        Indy, I am talking the 3 inch wide tongue and groove boards which is what I have installed. I install them with a stainless steel nail ran thru a flooring nailer. Nails are driven into floor joists. I know it is not a requirement but I put my joists at 12 inch centers for these floors. Something about a concentrated load point and 16 inch centers make me a little nervous. I figured if on steps you are supposed to close up the distance between supports then why not on the deck floor?
                        These mimic the old fir flooring that we use on front porches all the time here in St Louis. Same nail gun that you install hardwood flooring on the interior of the house.

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                        • #13
                          I get the 12" oc for the decking. My project is a refit so I'm going over 16 oc joists. I checked with two manufacturers, Gossen and Trex and they specify 16" oc for residential (100 lbs per sq/in) and 12 oc for commercial (200 lbs per sq/in). I suspect the 16" is pushing it but my clients don't have the budget to reframe for a new deck.

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                          • #14
                            how big is the deck? Asking because I did a 6 ft wide porch a few years back and the joists were all actually wider than 16 inches apart. more like 20 apart. We have a couple of yards here that carry up to 22 or 24 ft long joist materials. I was able to include the price of about 5 joist that I stuck in between each existing joist. Meant for some more nailing on the flooring and joist hangers but that was about it and I felt it was worth it.

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